The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce will hand out four annual awards at a gala on November 30, 2023 and one of them is to a couple who have been involved with the civil rights movement locally and who later worked to preserve affordable places to live.
“In the 1950s and 60s, [Eugene and Lorraine Williams] organized sit-ins, helped the Charlottesville branch of the NAACP grow exponentially, and spearheaded a lawsuit to integrate City schools,” reads a November 9 press release announcing the awards.
The Williams will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. The couple created Dogwood Housing in the 1980’s to preserve homes for existing residents. Earlier this year, the Charlottesville Redevelopment Housing Authority purchased over 70 units to keep them affordable.
The other awards are:
- The Christopher Lee Small Business Person of the Year is John Vermillion, the president of Charlottesville Sanitary Supply Corporation.
- WillowTree will receive the Upstanding Award for business practices including efforts toward “sustainability, volunteerism, charitable giving, and diversity and equity initiatives.”
- The Business Leader of the Year will go to Tracey Greene, the executive director of the Charlottesville Business Innovation Council and the founding executive director of the Charlottesville Angel Network.
The awards dinner will be held at the Kimpton Forum Hotel at Darden on November 30. Purchase tickets here.
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